Leading Democrats try to warn off Obama over intended Bain attacks on Romney?

Of all people, I don’t think you can say Bill Clinton doesn’t know just what he’s doing:

Of course this follows remarks by Newark mayor Cory Booker, as well as “Steve Rattner, who headed Obama’s auto task force . . . and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who on Thursday called Bain a ‘perfectly fine company.’”

Does this reflect dissatisfaction with Obama’s campaign tactics, his ideology or (!) his presidency? Whichever it is, do you think Obama will listen, and what does it mean for the election?

Wow. Democrats shooting themselves in the foot and sucking up to the finance industry. And I thought I’d seen everything.

WJC can be an asset and a liability. He really, really, really wants to be the center of attention. If I were Obama, I’d ask him to keep a low profile unless he’s really needed. Ah, but I may as try and catch the wind.

I haven’t heard either of them say a peep about Bain capital in a couple months. I don’t really know if it would be a good strategy or not. I guess that depends on whether or not Romney emphasizes “trying to run the country like a business” as pols, especially GOPers, are wont to do. In this case I wouldn’t mind looking at Bain as a glimpse of how Romney wants to run America.

Another 24 hour kerfluffle.

Bill Clinton: Praising Romney’s business record doesn’t connote endorsement

I predict at least one a week, on both sides.

No, it reflects the fact that “top Democrats” (like “top Republicans”), are thoroughly corrupt and beholden to Big Capital. Especially when they are not actually (like Obama) running for office, these interests will often trump their interest in getting fellow Democrats elected. People like Booker and Clinton know that unless the financial industry regards them as friends, they are unlikely to be given enough money to finance their next campaign (or, in Clinton’s case, his wife’s next campaign). Obama is in a different situation right now, whereby he calculates that the value of the public support he might gain from criticizing Romney’s financial dealings probably outweighs the disadvantages of pissing off some potential financial backers (and he will know that most of his potential backers, are probably smart enough to understand why he needs to do this, and so not get too pissed off).

High-level American politics is systemically and structurally corrupt. It is impossible for anyone who is not corrupt, who is not beholden to Big Capital, to get elected to major office. Campaigning is just too expensive.

Wow. That’s one helluva just-so story there, njtt.

No truth to it, John? Not a shred of fact, anywhere? Simpy a made up fable?

Well, if you think that “top Democrats are thoroughly corrupt”, why don’t you present your evidence? To make this a more tractable task, please focus on Obama.

Not so much Obama as the Clintonistas. You remember, don’t you, John? About how they looked to solve the problem of business contributions going exclusively to Pubbies? All that “business friendly” stuff. How they made themselves over into Republican Lite? Muffled and silenced Dem critics of the financial industry, and such? Boy, that sure worked out great for all of us, didn’t it?

So long as we tolerate the power of raw money to affect our politics, so long we will have corruption. Money already owns one political party and half of the other.

Would you reject the idea that maybe Clinton actually believes what he said? That is, “I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work; this is good work."

Oh, I think Horndog Bill is totally sincere, he thinks its a bad tactical move. He may be right, he is one of the most gifted politicians ever.

Yes, the first part of his statement could lead one to think that. The second part, not so much.

At any rate, the “just so story” was a reference to a sweeping, non-falsifiable statement that could be used to prove almost anything. Whether there is a shred of truth to it isn’t a repudiation of it being thus. Such statements aren’t useful at getting to the heart of the matter. And the roll of private equity in a market economy being a good thing isn’t really a very controversial statement.

John Mace, are you really trying to claim big financial interests don’t have a disproportionate power hold on the election process?

No. I’m only trying to claim exactly what I said. No need to read anything further into it.

In summary: I find it entirely plausible that Bill Clinton is speaking his true beliefs, and I find statements such as the one made by njtt (all top politicians are “thoroughly corrupt”) to be devoid of any value in a discussion such as the one we are having.

Thing is, no one else here interpreted it to literally mean every politician, and assumed it meant exactly what The Tao’s Revenge said. To those of us who so understood it, it seems like you are just making a partisan attack.

Well, the only politician we’re really talking about is WJC. Unless he is “thoroughly corrupt”, then it really doesn’t matter how broadly one interprets that statement, does it? It’s just as useless if applied to all politicians or only to Clinton.

Among our country’s elites, and that would certainly include Bill Clinton, it’s not a controversial statement. And I’m sure he means it. He’s got friends and supporters in private equity, and I’m sure he thinks they’re not involved in vulture capitalism. I don’t think it requires some sort of conspiracy theory to say that our political system, depending on massive amounts of big-money donations, encourages the success of those who think highly of Wall Street, as well as encouraging friendliness towards Wall Street among those that are successful.

Personally, I’m far from convinced that private equity is a net benefit to society. At the very least, converting taxable business profits into untaxable loan payments seems to be exploiting a loophole to deprive the US of tax revenue and put the money in the pockets of the very rich. And the fact that Bain pays itself out first seems to separate the risk from the benefits, with the risk being shouldered by the employees, and the benefits again going to the very rich.

Here I think is the point, that one may disagree with what Bain Capital did, but it’s difficult to say that, in performing that job, Romney was bad at it. Attacking Bain Capital does at least as much harm to Obama’s campaign as it does good. You may be able to sell the message that what he did helped lead to fewer jobs and damaging the economy, but you can’t really sell that message without also telling us that Romney has an understanding of the economy and was a competent business man. If the economy is going to be a major issue, that you’d have to straight up concede that he’s well qualified on matters of business and economics would kill, especially since there’s at least some reasoning that, even if what he was doing was destroying jobs, he did that job effectively, and now trying to create jobs, being so knowledgeable about the economy and business, he would be effective at that too.

Worse than that, even if he does manage to sell the moral aspects of that argument to his advantage, it carries additional baggage. Obviously, it will piss off some other financial people which could mean either less contributions for him or more for Romney. It will also continue to emphasize to the public how corrupt the financial system is, sure if he sells it, Romney is a part of it, but Obama still is reducing confidence in the economy and financial situation of the country.

I think it’s only a winning move for Obama if Romney just can’t successfully defend himself at all; however, I think Romney has enough talking points to at least minimize the damage the attacks can do to him, so short of handling it with utter incompetence, I think it’s a net loss for Obama. He’ll do much better emphasizing his own accomplishments as president in improving the economy than pressing that issue.

I think the successful angle is that Romney was very good at making money for his investors, but his goals had nothing to do with creating jobs. If jobs were created, fine. If people lost their jobs, their pensions, and their benefits, that was equally fine to Mitt. To say that Bain gave Romney credibility in managing the economy is a far stretch of credibility. You’ve got to turn your opponent’s strength into a liability. This is supposedly Romney’s strength, it must be eliminated.